In Lord of the Rings, Monaghan plays Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck, a hobbit who aids his cousin Frodo Baggins on his quest. Merry is joined at the hip by Pippin Took (Billy Boyd), and the pair of hobbits are some of the movies' most beloved characters. Monaghan has recently taken on another character of literary origins, voicing Sherlock Holmes' nemesis in the Audible podcast Moriarty: The Devil's Game. The podcast plays with conceptions of the iconic character, and even finds Monaghan reuniting with his LOTR co-star Boyd.
In a recent interview with Screen Rant at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Monaghan reminisces about his involvement in The Lord of the Rings. When asked about a favorite memory from filming the trilogy that he initially forgot, the actor chooses something that Boyd reminded him of. Monaghan then revealed a sweet note once exchanged between the two hobbit actors at the start of filming. Read Monaghan's quote below:
Exclusive: "I think the thing that really stuck in my head - which is only a little thing, but it just completely fell out of the back of my brain - is that Billy had said to me that on day one of filming, I had given him a card before we started shooting. He opened it, and inside the card I had written, "If you watch my back, I'll watch your back. Love, Merry," to Pippin.
I was like, "What, really?" He said, "Yeah," and I was like, "Oh, that's interesting." Because throughout the entire trilogy, I was always conscious of, "Okay, I'm good. How's Billy?" And if that was okay, then obviously at that point, I'd be like, "How's Elijah? How's Sean? How's Viggo? How's Orlando?" It kind of automatically, became this thing of, "If I'm okay, then how's my partner in crime?" And for that to have been captured in a card on day one is kind of interesting."
Still beloved 20-plus years on, a key factor to Lord of the Rings' endurance is the bonds created between its characters; perhaps none more so than those between Merry and Pippin. Frodo actor Elijah Wood has mentioned before that the four hobbit actors remain in a group text together because of the friendships created on set, and Monaghan's comments highlight exactly why this was the case. The actor explains that the cast cared for each other immediately, and this connection lasted throughout filming. The LOTR cast even planned a reunion in New Zealand in 2021 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fellowship of the Ring (which was relegated to Zoom due to the COVID pandemic).
Knowing Monaghan and his co-stars were watching out for each other from day one is not only a wholesome thought, but that warmth always translated to the screen. Merry and Pippin's friendship and love was a highlight of the trilogy for many viewers, and their off-screen bond was clear. The Lord of the Rings cast's close relationships are even more meaningful given the physically and emotionally draining nature of the three-year shoot, which proved difficult and isolating at times. For Monaghan and the rest of The Lord of the Rings cast, it seems like the fellowship was a true one.